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Jeopardy!'s TOC Begins February 23
From TV Insider

The 2024 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, technically the 2023 TOC that was delayed due to the WGA strikes, finally arrives this week, and fans are amped up to see the best-of-the-best battle it out. There are 27 contestants taking part in the TOC, making it the largest playing field ever.

The quarterfinals kick off on Friday, February 23, and will run until late March. The TOC was pushed back due to last summer's WGA strike, which massively affected Jeopardy's filming schedule. Despite the show continuing to air with former contestants and recycled clues, many TOC qualifiers refused to participate until the strikes were resolved.

Instead of recording the TOC or episodes with new contestants, Jeopardy! chose to air Second Chance and Champions Wildcard tournaments with former contestants from Seasons 37, 38, and 39.

This year's line-up consists of Season 39 super-champs, including fan favorites Cris Pannullo, Hannah Wilson, and Ben Chan. In addition, all three-day champions from Season 39 were invited back, along with Celebrity Jeopardy! winner Ike Barinholtz and 2023 High School Reunion Tournament winner Justin Bolsen.

Rounding out the field are the post-season comeback tournament winners. This includes Wildcard 1 winners Emily Sands, Nick Cascone, Josh Saak, and Yungsheng Wang, and Wildcard 2 winners Juveria Zaheer (who also won Second Chance) and the yet-to-be-determined winner of the still-airing episodes.

2024 Tournament of Champions Match-Ups
- The tournament kicks off on Friday, February 23, with Wildcard winner Emily Sands taking on Suresh Krishnan (6 wins) and Matthew Marcus (4 wins).
- Front-runner Cris Pannullo (21 wins) returns to the Alex Trebek stage on Monday, February 26, where he will face off against Ben Goldstein (5 wins) and Jared Watson (3 wins).
- Fan-favorite Hannah Wilson (8 wins) is back on Tuesday, February 27, where she will battle David Sibley (4 wins) and Wildcard winner Yungsheng Wang.
- The Wednesday, February 28, game will see Wildcard winner Nick Cascone take on Jake DeArruda (3 wins) and the controversial Yogesh Raut (3 wins).
- Comeback queen Juveria Zaheer returns on Thursday, February 29, where she will face off with Luigi de Guzman (5 wins) and Kevin Belle (3 wins).
-Super-champ Stephen Webb (8 wins) is back on Friday, March 1, where he will battle it out with Brian Henegar (3 wins) and Wildcard winner Josh Saak.
- The popular Ray LaLonde (13 wins) returns on Monday, March 4, where he will fight it out with Melissa Klapper (3 wins) and Celebrity Jeopardy! winner Ike Barinholtz.
- Tuesday, March 5, will see fan-fave Ben Chan (9 wins) take on Emmett Stanton (3 wins) and High School Reunion Tournament winner Justin Bolsen. J
- The final quarterfinal game takes place on Wednesday, March 6, and sees Troy Meyer (6 wins) battle with Sean McShane (3 wins) and the upcoming Wildcard 2 winner.

DISCLAIMER: Brian Henegar, scheduled to play March 1, is a friend of the site.

TV Insider
Philly Voice
Broadcasting & Cable

Entertainment Weekly
TV Line

USA Today/Yahoo!

The Philadelphia Inquirer


posted 2/23/2024

Paramount Minus
S&P Global Hits Paramount with Rating Downgrade
From the Hollywood Reporter

Paramount Global is on a watch by S&P Global for a possible credit rating downgrade over weaker cash flow concerns as the major studio pivots from linear TV to the streaming space.

"The margin and cash flows generated by DTC [direct to consumer] streaming businesses, which are replacing the linear TV segment, will be lower in comparison due to greater required content spending, higher technology investments, and higher marketing and subscriber acquisition costs," S&P ratings director Jawad Hussain said in a statement Friday.

Stock in Paramount Global, which is led by CEO Bob Bakish, slid by 53 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $11.18 on Friday during late-morning trading, with shares in the Hollywood studio last week taking another hit when Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway reported a one-third stake cut in the media conglomerate.

Last year, the studio's credit rating was lowered from BBB to BBB-, and its debt is now under renewed scrutiny, "with negative implications," including for another possible downgrade as S&P starts to weigh cash flow along with leverage metrics when measuring Paramount's debt worthiness.

"We believe FOCF [free operating cash flow] will be weaker than historical levels because the significant cash flows from the linear TV businesses will degrade rapidly as pay TV subscribers continue to decline and advertisers migrate spending to streaming platforms," S&P warned in its report.

The Hollywood Reporter

posted 2/23/2024

ABC/ITV Entertainment

Lightning Strikes Down Under
Brandon Blackwell Joins "The Chase Australia"
From Mediaweek

The Chase Australia will welcome its newest Chaser to the afternoon quiz show from Monday, February 26, at 5.00pm on Channel 7 and 7plus.

Brandon Blackwell, aka The Lightning Bolt, is regular in high-level quiz competitions around the world. He is a World Speed Quizzing Champion and is one of the highest-scoring players of all time on the prestigious British quiz show University Challenge. He also secured second place in the under-30 World Quizzing Championship in 2020.

Blackwell, a familiar face on The Chase America, joins a formidable line-up of Chasers: The Shark (Brydon Coverdale), Goliath (Matt Parkinson), The Supernerd (Issa Schultz), The Governess (Anne Hegerty), The Tiger Mum (Cheryl Toh) and The Beast (Mark Labbett).

"I'll beat you before you even turn up," Blackwell said.

The Chase Australia is an ITV Studios Australia production for the Seven Network based on the original ITV quiz show.

TV Blackbox


The Senior

posted 2/23/2024

The Starting Line for AR36 Revealed
"The Amazing Race" Begins March 13
From Entertainment Weeklyh

The 13 teams racing across the globe in the hopes of winning $1 million on season 36 of The Amazing Race have been revealed and include twins, a pair of Air Force pilots, a duo of firefighter moms, and a former first-round NFL draft pick racing with his wife.

This season (which premieres March 13 on CBS and once again features no non-elimination legs) begins in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, as teams will have to participate in a Mexican rodeo and must "lasso their way to the finish line without coming in last." Other tasks this season include paragliding in Colombia and rally car racing in Argentina. The course will also wind its way through two new countries for the show as players will swim through waterfalls in the Dominican Republic while also visiting Rihanna's childhood home in Barbados. Yes, that Rihanna.

It has been a long wait for the season 36 cast, who originally filmed this installment back in the fall of 2022 as what was then supposed to be the 35th season of the reality franchise. With the writers and actors strikes of 2023, however, CBS decided to specifically film a season that could run as 90-minute episodes, so flipped seasons 35 and 36. Once the strikes were over, the network then decided to keep the show at 90 minutes, so the new season 36 will be running at the longer airtime anyway.

That means we'll get to see even more of contestants like Rod Gardner, who played six seasons in the NFL after being selected 15th overall in the 2001 draft by Washington. He will be joined by wife Leticia in his quest for more competition glory. But they will have to battle 12 other teams to take home the loot. Get your official first look at those teams below.

- Derek (57, retired chief of police) and Shelisa Williams (55, retired sheriff's lieutenant) Married Alta Loma, Calif.
- Danny (27, university resident director) and Angie Butler (55, seventh grade teacher) Mother and son San Diego, Calif., and Walla Walla, Wash.
- Rod (46, former NFL player/owner of Gshred Supplements) and Leticia Gardner (38, fitness business owner) Married Lawrenceville, Ga.
- Michelle (39) and Sean Clark (46), owners of Double Dutch Aerobics Married East Point, Ga.
- Yvonne Chavez (40, global strategy and operations lead) and Melissa Main (38, investigator for U.S. Navy special operations) Dating San Diego, Calif.
- Sunny Pulver (41) and Bizzy Smith (37), firefighters Best friends Edgerton, Wis., and New Berlin, Wis.
- Amber Craven (30) and Vinny Cagungun (37), nurse anesthetists Dating Englewood, Colo.
- Ricky Rotandi (34, preschool teacher) and Cesar Aldrete (34, food stylist) Dating New York, N.Y.
- Juan Villa (29) and Shane Bilek (29), Air Force pilots Best friends Spokane, Wash., and Marine City, Mich.
- Anthony (26) and Bailey Smith (26), recruiters Twin brothers Clearwater, Fla.
- Kishori Turner (26, senior marketing strategist) and Karishma Cordero (22, student) Cousins Gaithersburg, Md., and Austin, Texas
- Maya (20, student) and Rohan Mody (23, master's student) Siblings Monmouth Junction, N.J.
- Chris Foster (60, receptionist) and Mary Cardona-Foster (27, marketing manager) Father and daughter Waltham, Mass.

The Amazing Race premieres March 13 on CBS.

Entertainment Weekly
TV Insider
TV Line

Reality TV World

posted 2/23/2024

THURSDAY: Vaya con Dios, Sam Waterston
CBS, NBC Split Night
From TV Line

In the latest TV ratings, NBC's SVU was Thursday's top-rated program and CBS' Young Sheldon drew the largest crowd.

With all the Laws and every Order fresh over on NBC, Young Sheldon (with 7 million viewers and a 0.5 demo rating), Ghosts (5.9 mil/0.4) and So Help Me Todd (4.1 mil/0.3) all were down versus their strong season openers.

Law & Order (4.8 mil/0.5) and SVU (4.9 mil/0.6) each rose in both measures, while Organized Crime (3.5 mil/0.4) returned steady.

Fox's Next Level Chef (1.9 mil/0.3) dipped, Farmer Wants a Wife (1.6 mil/0.2) was relatively steady.

Cable numbers (totals/A18-49) are forthcoming.

TV Line
The Programming Insider

Spoiler TV

posted 2/23/2024

WEDNESDAY: One Chicago vs. Three Doors
NBC Wins Night
From TV Line

In the latest, holiday-delayed TV ratings, NBC's #OneChicago trio led Wednesday in both viewers and the demo.

Chicago Med (6.4 mil/0.5), Fire (6.5 mil/0.5) and P.D. (5.3 mil/0.5) were all steady.

ABC's The Conners (3.5 mil/0.4) was steady, Not Dead Yet (2.3 mil/0.2) dipped, and both Abbott Elementary (2.4 mil/0.4) and Judge Steve Harvey (1.4 mil/0.1) dropped some eyeballs.

Leading out of TPIR at Night (3.9 mil/0.4) on CBS, Dolly Parton's Pet Gala retained 2.2 mil and a 0.2.

Fox's I Can See Your Voice (1.6 mil/0.2) and We Are Family (1.7 mil/0.2) were steady.

The CW's Wild Cards (450K/0.1) and Family Law (370K/0.1) both lost viewers.

Cable numbers (totals/A18-49) are forthcoming.

TV Line
The Programming Insider

Spoiler TV

posted 2/23/2024

TUESDAY: Will vs. the FBI
CBS, ABC Run to Dead Heat
From TV Line

In the latest TV ratings, CBS' FBI was Tuesday's most-watched program and led the night in the demo.

FBI (with 7 million total viewers and a 0.5 demo rating) dipped in both measures week-to-week, facing stiffer procedural competition. FBI: International (5.3 mil/0.4) and FBI: Most Wanted (4.8 mil/0.4) each lost viewers but held steady in the demo.

Christening its earlier time slot, the Will Trent Season 2 opener (4.6 mil/0.3) soared to an easy series high in audience on ABC while matching its freshman average in the demo. The Rookie (3.6 mil/0.3) returned down from its previous averages (3.9 mil/0.4). The Good Doctor (2.8 mil/0.2) opened its farewell run with series lows.

NBC's Night Court (2.5 mil/0.3) and Extended Family (1.9 mil/0.2) were down in audience but steady in the demo. The yet-to-be-renewed Quantum Leap's double episode finale (1.4 mil/0.2, 1.34 mil/0.2) was on par with last week.

Fox's season finale of Name That Tune (1.5 mil/0.2) dipped, but The Floor (2.4 mil/0.4) was steady.

CW rounded out the night with the premiere of Crime Nation (466k/0.1).

Cable numbers (totals/A18-49)...
- Chopped (Food): 594k/0.13
- Blank Slate (GSN): 333k/0.02
- Wheel of Fortune - 9p (R/GSN): 330k/0.03
- Wheel of Fortune - 9:30p (R/GSN): 327k/0.04 .

TV Line
The Programming Insider

Spoiler TV

posted 2/23/2024

"Cash Cab Music" Heads to Global
AXS TV Series to Air in Global
From Global

If you've ever dreamed of being picked up by the "Cash Cab," buckle up and delete that Uber app. Your second chance is here.

Nine years after Cash Cab Canada ended, the beloved game show is being revived in a new form, as Cash Cab Music. The original host, Adam Growe, is back behind the steering wheel of a newly-renovated disco taxi, testing commuters in downtown Toronto on musical trivia. Offer three incorrect answers and you're out in the cold before you reach your destination.

Global News

posted 2/22/2024

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Learn from a Shark"

  • Mark Cuban shares his savvy on MasterClass (TV Line)

  • Impossible? canceled, and Rick Edwards is not happy (Birmingham Mail)

  • Joe Mangianello prepped for "Deal or No Deal Island" by being a D&D DM (Syfy)

  • The reviews are in, and Marc Summers' off-Broadway show is a hit (Playbill)

  • Before he wanted a wife, Ty Ferrell filmed a pilot with his ex-wife (TV Insider)

  • ICYMI: Niecy Nash-Betts has a reunion on the set of "We Are Family" (TV Insider)

  • VIDEO WALL: How to get a car on the set of "Wheel of Fortune" (Instagram @WheelofFortune)

  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: Love Is Blind's season 6 reunion is planned for March 13 (TV Line)

posted 2/23/2024

Wendy Williams Diagnosed with Aphasia, Frontotemporal Dementia
"Love Triangle" Host Still Able to Do Many Things Herself, Says Medical Team
From People

Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), her medical care team announced.

According to a press release, the former "Love Triangle" host, 59, received her diagnosis last year and her medical team said the conditions "have already presented significant hurdles in Wendy's life."

"Wendy is still able to do many things for herself," the team said in a statement. "Most importantly she maintains her trademark sense of humor and is receiving the care she requires to make sure she is protected and that her needs are addressed. She is appreciative of the many kind thoughts and good wishes being sent her way."

According to Mayo Clinic, aphasia "robs you of the ability to communicate" and "can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written." The group adds that the condition "typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a head injury. But it can also come on gradually from a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes progressive, permanent damage (degenerative)."

PR Newswire

posted 2/22/2024

Buzzfeed Sells Complex
eCommerce Firm Ntwrk Buys Network for $108.6 million
From Variety

BuzzFeed has sold Complex — the youth-culture media company it bought three years ago — and will pink-slip another 16% of BuzzFeed's remaining staffers in a restructuring designed to get back on financial track.

BuzzFeed announced Wednesday that it closed the sale of Complex to ecommerce platform Ntwrk in a $108.6 million all-cash deal. L.A.-based Ntwrk said that together with Complex, it will build a "next-generation content and shopping experience" that it described as a "new destination for 'superfan' culture that will define the future of commerce, digital media and music." Investors in the newly merged company include Universal Music Group, Jimmy Iovine, Main Street Advisors and Goldman Sachs.

In addition to the $108.6 million purchase price, BuzzFeed received approximately $5.7 million related to Complex's use of the company's New York offices and "severance- and other employment-related costs." BuzzFeed acquired Complex Networks in December 2021 for approximately $198 million in cash and $96 million in equity — for a total price tag of $294 million. However, that included Complex's First We Feast brand, producer of the popular "Hot Ones" series, which was not sold to Ntwrk and remains with BuzzFeed.

Along with the Complex sale, BuzzFeed announced a new round of layoffs to cut expenses, implementing a 16% reduction in its remaining workforce of a bit under 1,000 across the company (excluding Complex employees who are joining Ntwrk). The BuzzFeed job cuts are expected to yield approximately $23 million in annualized compensation cost savings, the company said. The layoffs come after BuzzFeed in April 2023 announced it was shuttering its unprofitable BuzzFeed News division and laying off about 180 people across the organization.


posted 2/22/2024

Kelly Gardner/Fox

Balls... Now That We Have Your Attention...
Jay Pharoah to Host "Quiz With Balls" for Fox
From Variety

Jay Pharoah, known for "Saturday Night Live" and "The Blackening," will host "The Quiz with Balls," a new Fox game show.

Each episode will feature two families competing for $100,000 in a "battle of the balls," combining a high-stakes quiz show with a large-scale physical competition.

"When I got hit up about hosting an epic face-off between big brains and even bigger balls, I was like … 'I got this,'" Pharoah said in a statement. "Then I found out it was a game show series on Fox and thought … even better!"

The contestants stand on a high platform over a pool, where they must work together during a multiple choice quiz. Each answer is allocated to a spot with a giant ball positioned behind it. If the answer is chosen correctly, the ball will roll down and stop just before hitting the player. However, if the answer is wrong, the ball will fall and whack the player into the pool below. The questions get harder the more players each team loses. The longer they last, the more money they bank until one "dry" family member plays the final round for the $100,000 grand prize.

"Playful, quick-witted and high-energy, Jay's going to make a huge splash as our host of 'The Quiz with Balls,'" Allison Wallach, Fox Entertainment's president of unscripted programming, said in a statement. "No matter the stage or show, Jay's singular brand of humor and comedic timing elevates everything he does. With him at the helm of 'The Quiz with Balls,' viewers of all ages are assured an exciting and hilarious hour of fun playing along with Jay and our family contestants."

Executive produced by Talpa Studios and Eureka Productions, the new series is set to premiere this summer of Fox. "The Quiz with Balls" premiered on SBS6 in The Netherlands, where it became an instant summer hit, receiving an order for a four-episode winter special. A second season of the show will air on SBS6 later this year. Talpa Studios will soon announce other markets where the format will travel to, following the U.S. launch.

Showrunner Anthony Carbone, John de Mol, Maarten Meijs, Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin, Wes Dening and John Leahy executive produce.

TV Blackbox


TV Tonight

The Futon Critic

posted 2/21/2024

WGA Awards: And The Nominees Are...
Four Game Shows Vie for the Prize
From Variety

The Writers Guild of America's west and east arms have announced nominations for this year's honors in screenwriting, television, new media, news, radio/audio, and promotional writing during 2023. Delayed due to the Hollywood strikes, this year's ceremony will take place on Sunday, April 14, 2024. Here are the nominees:

- "Baking It," Writers Chad Carter, Neil Casey, Jessica McKenna, Zach Reino, Nicolle Yaron; Peacock
- "The Chase," Head Writer David Levinson Wilk Writers Erik Agard, Kyle Beakley, Micki Boden, Megan Broussard, Jonathan Daly, Brian Greene, Robert King, Jason Lundell, Sierra Mannie, Amy Ozols, Bobby Patton, Ellen Teitel, Ari Yolkut; ABC
- "Jeopardy!," Writers Marcus Brown, Michael Davies, John Duarte, Mark Gaberman, Debbie Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Billy Wisse;ABC
- "Weakest Link," Head Writer Ann Slichter Writers Chip Dornell, Ryan Hopak, Walter Kelly, Stuart Krasnow, Jon Macks, Meggie McFadden, Rylee Newton, Ryan O'Dowd, Scott Saltzburg, Doug Shaffer, Aaron Solomon, Grant Taylor, Mia Taylor; NBC

TV Line


posted 2/21/2024

The Era of Freevee Love Is Over?
Reports: Amazon FAST Service Shutting Down, Amazon: Hold On...
From the Wrap

Amazon is pushing back against reports that its Freevee service is shuttering.

AdWeek reported the news, which it said is part of an effort by the tech giant to shift its focus to Prime Video. Sources familiar with the matter told the outlet that sunsetting Freevee could happen sometime within the second quarter.

However, a spokesperson for Amazon said there are "no changes" coming to Freevee.

"Amazon Freevee remains an important streaming offering providing both Prime and non-Prime customers thousands of hit movies, shows and originals, all for free," they added.

Freevee, which was formerly known as IMDb TV until a rebrand in 2022, offers thousands of premium movies and TV shows, including originals such as "Bosch: Legacy," "Judy Justice" and "Jury Duty" and over 150 free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels.

Some Freevee originals, such as "Leverage: Redemption" and "American Rust," have even been moved to Prime Video for their upcoming seasons.

AdWeek's report follows the launch of Prime Video's ad tier on Jan. 29, which will be the default for all subscribers. The streamer will offer a new ad-free option for an additional $2.99 per month for U.S. members. Currently, Amazon Prime, which includes Prime Video, costs $14.99 per month or $139 a year. A membership that only includes Prime Video and none of the company's shipping benefits costs $8.99 a month.

The Wrap
TV Line


posted 2/21/2024

Syndicators Go All-In on Game Shows
A Look at Fall 2024
From Broadcasting & Cable

Talk won't be the talk of syndication this fall — instead, producers are bringing out much more economical true-crime series and games to fill station slates.

In January, Warner Bros. renewed talk strip Jennifer Hudson for a third season, airing on Fox-owned stations in the country's biggest markets. That caused Debmar-Mercury to withdraw its talk show starring Ken Jeong from the marketplace. After that, several pieces of the fall 2024 syndication puzzle fell into place. Two new first-run shows have been cleared for launch this fall, Warner Bros.'s True Crime News and The Flip Side from CBS Media Ventures, and the potential is there for a few more shows to emerge.

While stations build up their true-crime schedules, many of them are leaning heavily on game shows. In January, the CBS-owned stations picked up The Flip Side, which is the first new syndicated series to be produced under the leadership of Wendy McMahon, president and CEO of CBS News and Stations and CMV. The Flip Side will be hosted by Jaleel White, known for his role as Steve Urkel on Family Matters, which aired on ABC from 1989 to 1997. Since then, White, who also works as a writer, producer and comedian, has starred in Netflix's Hustle, CBS's Me, Myself and I and Apple TV Plus's The Afterparty.

The Flip Side pits two teams of players against each other, testing them on how they think two different groups of people feel about the same issue. Teams choose from multiple-choice answers, and whoever reveals the best intuition regarding human behavior will find themselves richer.

Overall, game shows are popular in syndication right now, often taking the place of more expensive off-network sitcoms. The Flip Side will air on CBS's duopoly stations in big markets, and Fox also has renewed most of its game slate for next year. That includes Pictionary, starring Jerry O'Connell; Debmar-Mercury's People Puzzler, starring Leah Remini; 25 Words or Less, starring and executive produced by Meredith Vieira; and Person, Place or Thing, starring Melissa Peterman. Fox also renewed Dish Nation, which features radio deejays chatting about the entertainment gossip of the day, for a 13th season after doing some cost-cutting. Going away after one season is the TMZ-produced Who the Bleep Is That?


posted 2/21/2024

"The Office" UK Actor Played "Celebrity Poker Live" & "Celebrity Mastermind"
From Deadline

Ewen MacIntosh, who played lovable loser Keith in Ricky Gervais' seminal BBC comedy The Office, has died. He was 50.

Gervais was among those paying tribute to the actor, whose passing was confirmed by his talent agency, JustRight Management.

"With great sadness we announce the peaceful passing of our beloved comedy genius Ewen MacIntosh. His family thank all who supported him, especially Willow Green Care Home," read the statement.

No cause of death was revealed, but JustRight noted there will be a private cremation for family and close friends "soon" and a celebratory memorial later in the year.

Gervais, who starred in the The Office alongside MacIntosh between 2001 and 2003, wrote on social media that the passing was "extremely sad news."

"The very funny and very lovely Ewen Macintosh, known to many as 'Big Keith' from The Office, has passed away. An absolute original. RIP," he added.

MacIntosh's character in The Office, Keith Bishop, was known for his deadpan delivery. The character was central to several famous episodes, including 'Big Keith's Appraisal', in which Gervais' office branch manager, David Brent, run through his strengths and weaknesses.

UKTV channel Gold, which often runs repeats of The Office, said in a statement: "We at Gold are saddened to hear that Ewen MacIntosh has passed away at the age of 50. We loved him as Keith in The Office and were lucky enough to work with him over the years on the channel. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at such a difficult time."

According to IMDb, Macintosh's most recent role was in 2023 indie horror film Nightmare on 34th Street. He had also appeared in films such as Drew Cullingham's Shed of the Dead, Steve M Kelly's The Bromley Boys and Raza Mallal's Snapshot Wedding. TV credits include appearances in UK comedy series Little Britain, Lead Balloon and Miranda.

In game shows, Macintosh was on episodes of "Celebrity Mastermind" and "Celebrity Poker Live".

The Hollywood Reporter
TV Line
Entertainment Weekly

posted 2/21/2024

MONDAY: Remembering Ducky
CBS, ABC Run to Dead Heat
From TV Line

In the latest TV ratings, CBS' NCIS was Monday's most-watched program and tied ABC's The Bachelor for the nightly demo win.

The Neighborhood (with 5.1 million total viewers and a 0.4 demo rating) and Bob Hearts Abishola (4.8 mil/0.4) both dipped from their season premieres. NCIS (7.3 mil/0.5) added some viewers and was steady in the demo, while NCIS: Hawaii (5.1 mil/0.4) dropped a few eyeballs but held steady in the demo.

The Bachelor (3.2 mil/0.5) dipped week-to-week.

NBC's AGT: Fantasy League (3.9 mil/0.3) was pretty steady with its finale. The already-renewed The Irrational slipped to a series low in audience (2.4 mil) while putting up its third straight 0.2 rating.

Slightly delayed by Indy 500 overrun, America's Most Wanted (1.5 mil/0.2) actually lost some eyeballs on Fox whereas TMZ Investigates (1.4 mil/0.4) added a few.

Cable numbers (totals/A18-49)...
- Kids Baking Championship (Food): 846k/0.12
- Battle on the Mountain (HGTV): 616k/0.07
- Stupid Pet Tricks (TBS): 516k/0.10
- Wheel of Fortune - 9:30p (R/GSN): 426k/0.06
- Blank Slate (GSN): 383k/0.03
- Wheel of Fortune - 9p (R/GSN): 354k/0.06

TV Line
The Programming Insider

Spoiler TV

posted 2/21/2024

Meet the Pint-Sized Cheftestants of MasterChef Junior 9
Catch It on Fox March 4
From The Futon Critic

Judges and Mentors Gordon Ramsay, Daphne Oz and Aarón Sánchez return alongside new judge Tilly Ramsay.

- Alfred Age: 11 Hometown: Binford, ND Food Dream: To write a Midwest kids' cookbook
- Asher Age: 8 Hometown: Yakima, WA Food Dream: To become a chef and write a cookbook
- Bre Age: 10 Hometown: Burbank, CA Food Dream: To open an affordable food truck
- Bryson Age: 11 Hometown: Opelika, AL Food Dream: To have a cheese mobile food truck
- Jason Age: 9 Hometown: San Gabriel, CA Food Dream: To have a TV show and write a cookbook
- Jordyn Age: 8 Hometown: Greensboro, NC Food Dream: To open a restaurant
- Kristell Age: 10 Hometown: Austin, TX Food Dream: To have a food truck
- Lilo Age: 9 Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI Food Dream: To open a restaurant
- Lydia Age: 9 Hometown: Atlanta, GA Food Dream: To open a restaurant
- Michael Age: 11 Hometown: New Smyma, FL Food Dream: To open a restaurant with his mom
- Miles Age: 10 Hometown: College Station, TX Food Dream: To write a kids' cookbook
- Remy Age: 10 Hometown: Hollywood, FL Food Dream: To connect with my community through cooking

One talented young chef will be named America's newest MasterChef Junior, taking home a trophy and $100,000 grand prize!

The Futon Critic

posted 2/21/2024

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "A Preview of Coming Attractions"

  • FIRST LOOKS: Deal or No Deal Island (NBC) and the new seasons of SYTYCD (TV Insider) and Blown Away (The Futon Critic)

  • Jimmy Kimmel hints at his departure (Deadline)

  • Michael Strahan shared an update on his daughter's cancer battle (Entertainment Weekly)

  • Greg Davies would like new comedies to be ordered for two seasons to give time for them to hit their stride (Deadline)

  • Parvati Shallow won't return to Survivor (Entertainment Weekly)

  • Dee Valladares joins On Fire with Jeff Probst (TV Line)

  • DEFINING MOMENT OF AWESOME: contestant signs off in English, French, and Mohawk (CTV News Montreal)

  • Guy Fieri gets Hunter ready for a wedding (People)

posted 2/21/2024

Hello! Magazine
ROBIN WINDSOR: 1979-2024
"Strictly Come Dancing" Professional
From TV Line

Professional dancer Robin Windsor, best known to TV audiences for his four-season stint on the UK's Strictly Come Dancing, has died at the age of 44. A cause of death has not been disclosed.\

His death was first announced by the official Facebook page of Burn the Floor, a dance company he founded in 1997:

The Burn the Floor family has lost one of its founding members, Robin "Bobby" Windsor – who has tragically passed away. A BTF journeyman he danced with us for twenty years – including Broadway, The West End and all our crazy adventures around the world. His stunning image attached with Jessica Raffa defined our company, colourful, extreme and sensual. His talent, attitude, energy and personality helped create the Burn the Floor stage reputation. He leaves a void in our hearts that will never be filled, yet our wonderful memories will stay forever.

Windsor made his Strictly Come Dancing debut in 2010 and was paired with Eighth Wonder frontwoman Patsy Kensit (eliminated in Week 9). He returned for three additional seasons and was paired with EastEnders vet Anita Dobson (also eliminated in Week 9), Emmerdale star Lisa Riley (eliminated in Week 11) and Dragon's Den investor Deborah Meaden (eliminated in Week 5).

"The whole Strictly family are deeply saddened to hear the news about our dear friend Robin Windsor," the BBC reality competition said in a statement on Instagram. "He was not only an exceptionally talented dancer and choreographer but also a caring, considerate and kind person both on and off the dance floor. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this extremely difficult time."

Prior to his death, Windsor was featured in Come What May, a Moulin Rouge tribute show. The stage play's production company, Sisco Entertainment Group, put out the following statement:

"It is with heavy hearts that we announce the tragic passing of our beloved friend, Robin Windsor. Robin's presence in Come What May was more than just a performance; it was an embodiment of passion, grace and sheer talent. His extraordinary ability to express emotion through movement captivated audiences, leaving them spellbound with every step. Beyond his impeccable dancing, Robin's vibrant spirit lit up the room, infusing rehearsals and performances with infectious energy and warmth. His laughter was contagious, his kindness boundless. His friendship was a gift cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him. Robin, you will be deeply missed. Though Come What May will continue without you, your legacy will live on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to share in your light."

TV Line
BBC News

posted 2/20/2024

"Millionaire" Goes to the Casino
Playtech to License Name to Dealer Games
From Bonus

In its quest to expand its footprint in live dealer casino game vertical, Playtech has announced that it will bring its Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? (WWTBAM) branded live games to North American markets.

The announcement came alongside news of a two-year partnership extension between Playtech and Sony Pictures Television, which owns the rights to WWTBAM.

Now good until 2028, that deal has allowed Playtech to develop three live dealer games using the WWTBM intellectual property:
- Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? Live Roulette
- Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? Live Trivia
- Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? Video Poker Live

These games incorporate various features of the popular game show of the same name, including its "lifelines": 50/50, Ask the Audience, and Ask the Host lifelines. In addition to the three current titles, Playtech plans to develop additional games using the brand. These would be available to the company's global partners, including those in its new North American markets — the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Sasha Uman, chief commercial officer at Playtech Live, said that the collaboration with Sony has been an enormous opportunity for the company. She added: "It showcases our commitment to securing top iconic brands in the game show and entertainment industry, and our dedication to offering high-quality and innovative gaming options to the audience. It has allowed us to bring a diverse range of interactive games, including Live Roulette, Live Trivia, and the latest addition, Video Poker Live, inspired by the beloved 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' brand. 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' has been a global favourite for many years, and we are thrilled to be able to bring the excitement of this iconic game show to players worldwide, especially to our North American audience."


posted 2/20/2024

SUNDAY: CBS Premiere Week Concludes
CBS, ABC Run to Dead Heat
From TV Line

In the latest TV ratings, CBS' 60 Minutes and Tracker were among Sunday's most-watched programs, with the latter also landing in a three-way tie for the nightly demo win.

Leading out of 60 Minutes (which had 7.2 million total viewers and a 0.4 demo rating), The Equalizer (6.3 mil/0.5) returned pretty steady with its Season 3 averages. Tracker (6.6 mil/0.5) found Sunday's second-largest audience, building on its lead-in. CSI: Vegas christened its brand-new time slot with 3.95 million viewers (matching its second-largest audience to date), while steady in the demo with a 0.3 rating.

ABC's AFV (4 mil/0.4) scored its second-largest audience of the season and matched its demo high. American Idol (4.5 mil/0.5) was down double digits from both from Season 21's premiere and Sunday averages. What Would You Do? returned to 2.7 mil and a 0.3.

The People's Choice Awards on NBC averaged 2.2 mil and a 0.2.

Fox's The Simpsons did 720K and a 0.2, followed by Krapopolis' 500K/0.1, The Great North's 420K/0.1 and Grimsburg's 360K/0.1.

Cable numbers (totals/A18-49) are forthcoming.

TV Line
The Programming Insider

Spoiler TV

posted 2/20/2024

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Games Gone By"

  • FIRST LOOK: Deal or No Deal Island (Hollywood Life)

  • LIST ABUSE: Every game show each UK Chaser has been on, from "Millionaire" to "Are You An Egghead?" (Entertainment Daily)

  • Joey Graziadei apologizes for the whole Gypsy Rose Blanchard/Ruth Bader Ginsburg thing (Deadline)

  • FIRST LOOK: What to expect from Fox over the spring thanks to Ken Jeong & Joel McHale (TV Insider)

  • "The Voice" takes home Competition Reality trophy at the People's Choice Awards (Deadline)

  • Walmart buys Vizio for $2.3 billion, or 4.6 million 65 inchers (DEadline)

  • Charles "Chip" Esten recalls how he won his wife's engagement ring as a superchamp on "Sale of the Century" (Us Magazine)

posted 2/20/2024

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